Environmental Design Admissions
Log into your CU Boulder application, click on the major change request form and request to change your major to ENVD. Admissions will then communicate if the major change is approved or denied (based on application materials and space in the ENVD program).
You can also connect with your Admissions and/or your Admissions Advisor to receive more information.
We do not require previous design experience or prerequisites. Please visit the Admission's first-year selection website, to view the averages of first-year student’s credentials that were admitted into ENVD in 2019.
About 100 first-year students are admitted every fall and having a design background from high school helps if you have lower than average test scores and GPA.
Environmental Design Curriculum & Academics
There are four majors offered through the B.EnvD degree.
- Architecture: study the design and build of building structures
- Environmental product design: study of the design and build of reproducible products
- Landscape architecture: study of designing environments in urban, rural and agricultural contexts at all scales
- Sustainable planning & urban design: formulations of policies guiding the development of neighborhoods, cities and regions.
We'll help you enroll in your first semester classes! You will take the following courses during your first semester:
- 8-week environmental product design studio
- 8-week architecture studio
- Intro to design theory
- Technology I
- Research colloquium
- Writing course
Each following semester, we'll assist you in enrolling in a studio, technology, general education and other design-related courses.
View curriculum guides for each major.
The incoming first-year class is between 110 to 120 students. Studio courses average 18 to 20 students per class, which provides students with direct access to ENVD faculty and advisors. The Program in Environmental Design is made up of about 650 students from first year students to seniors.
Students in ENVD receive an interdisciplinary, hands-on education. Each student begins their education with a foundational, three-semester introduction to each major. After that foundation, you will continue courses in your declared major.
Students in environmental design pursue a bachelor's in environmental design (B.EnvD) and can choose to major in one of four areas: architecture, environmental product design, landscape architecture or sustainable planning & urban design.
Environmental design focuses more on the design aspect whereas architectural engineering focuses on structures and systems.
Currently, we offer an environmental planning minor, which has no pre-requisites to apply. This minor is 18 credits and open to students interested in environmental planning. Learn more about our minor.
Yes, you can choose to double major, and/or add minors and certificates onto your B.EnvD degree. Common minors are business, technology arts and media (TAM), engineering management, real estate, geography, media studies, and foreign language.
Common certificates include lighting design, GIS and computational science and real estate.
Common dual degrees include business, college of communications and information, engineering and other degrees offered through arts and sciences.
We encourage students who are interested in the above options to meet with an academic advisor.
Environmental Design Scholarships
Returning ENVD students can apply for over $50,000 in scholarships each year. Scholarships and award criteria may include academic merit, financial need, contributions to the field of environmental design or other requirements.
Students in their first year at ENVD are automatically enrolled in the Emerging Leaders Program, a two-semester academic and social community program designed to engage and connect you with your cohort and upper-division students.
All students in this program are eligible for a $500 studio-based scholarship at the end of their second semester, as long as they attend 18 events throughout the year.
ENVD has seven student groups and organizations that are open to all ENVD students.
- Environmental Design Student Government (EDSG)
- This is the program's branch of the campus student government (CUSG) and acts as a liaison between ENVD students, faculty and administration. Holds events for the ENVD student population.
A community engagement and social activism group:
- The Rural Project
Four groups associated with each of the ENVD majors
- American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS)
- American Planning Association Student Chapter (APAS)
- Environmental Product Design Club (EPOD)
- American Society of Landscape Architecture Student Chapter (ASLA)
An academic group, serving first-generation and underrepresented students
- Designers Without Boundaries (DWB)
Career Development & Job Placement
- Out of the 120 credits required to graduate 90 of those credits are design-specific ENVD courses
- Most ENVD students complete two or more design-related internships before they graduate
- There are various professional development opportunities including site visits, networking with design firms and business owners, as well as job fairs, graduate school fairs
Our in-house Professional Development Center is specific to ENVD students, providing you a range of career-developing opportunities. Connect with our center to help expand your connections, gain resume-building experience and find a job after graduation.
On average, about 30 percent of graduating students enter a graduate program.
Some quick facts to know as you consider a path to licensure and certification:
Schools do not grant licenses: it is up to the student to pursue design licensure and certification in addition to their B.EnvD degree
Licensure requirements for architecture and landscape architecture are defined on a state-by-state basis
In Colorado, the path to architecture licensure for B.EnvD students is typically the same amount of time as students pursuing an M. Arch degree
Learn more about the paths to licensure and certifications.
Last year, 80 percent of the students who interacted with the Professional Development Center were hired in ENVD fields within three months of graduation.
Yes, on average ENVD students complete two or more internships before graduation.